Today is another special episode of the Grounded in Simplicity Podcast.
We are wrapping up by giving you Things You Can Do to Take Action and Start Working on your Homesteading Dream.
To start, you kind of have to learn to let go of those things and only keep things that you really love or really need. We should only have the things that bring us joy, which are the things that you need especially leading this kind of lifestyle. But you can definitely learn to minimize and simplify.
Learning to let go of the consumers mindset can be very, very hard. But as you know, homesteaders are people who want to learn to homestead. We should be producing things and producers, instead of so much consumers.
The best way to do this is to turn their phones off, or at least put them in another room while you go do something else. We don't need our phones all the time and make yourself hard to get ahold to get things done and be more productive, but in all honesty, it helps you be less of a consumer and gets you away from the consumer mindset because when we're constantly on our phones. We're usually scrolling on Social Media, or some other thing and then we end up with a lot of advertisements that are trying to get us to buy the things we don't need.
You can use this season of your life wherever you're at as a learning season. And remember everything is just a season, everything changes. People change all the time. Situations change all the time. Everything is constantly changing. So you have to learn how to use the seasons that you're in to make your dreams move forward without having to be on this big cloud of land or have a big garden or whatever it is that you dream.
Links mentioned in this episode:
2022 Seed Varieties
Pampered Gardener Box by Kitchen Botanicals
The Self Sufficient Life
Not So Modern Living
Use code GROUNDED for 20% off your first purchase.
If you enjoyed today's episode and you love this show, can you help us convince others to listen too? All you have to do is leave a quick review and rating (and subscribe if you haven't already). That would mean the world to us. Thank you so much!
Welcome to another special live episode of the Grounded in Simplicity podcast where we are helping moms get back to basics and learn to find joy in being less busy. I am Danielle from the Rustic Elk and will shortly be joined by my good friend Bonnie from The Not So Modern Housewife. Today we are wrapping up my homestead anywhere challenge I'm going to talk about some things that you can do to take action and start working on your homesteading dreams, wherever you're at in life right now. Okay, so first off, what can you do to start your homestead? Um, a lot of people are waiting on that, that someday mentality to have that someday mentality they're waiting on, you know, more land and more money or resources, knowledge waiting on their kids to get out of school and move away, or their kids to grow up. And, you know, the last two years have definitely shown us that we can't wait on Sunday. Grocery store shelves are definitely better more often than not. So, you know, we need that little bit of food security. So what can you do, you can, you know, to kind of start to let go of that consumerism mindset that has all been ingrained in all of us, since you know, the beginning of life, mostly. And, you know, you can learn to kind of minimize, and simplify your life. So doing things like, you know, letting go of all the excess in your life and kind of decluttering and letting go of, you know, buying things you really don't need, I actually have an entire blog posts on this 32 Tips on Becoming a Minimalist. And basically, it's just, you know, it takes you through every area of your home. So that you can, you know, declutter and get rid of all that excess, because that clutter is time and money out of our lives. And it can be difficult to let go of it. But at the same time, it really does bog you down, there have actually been studies on how much excess clutter bogs us down. So, you know, learning to kind of let go of that, and not keeping all that excess for, you know, just in case or just in time or, you know, whatever it may be, can really, really help you. It kind of helps you let go of the consumerism mindset and make it so that you're not spending so much time, you know, picking up trinkets and decluttering. Or, you know, just like I said, it just it weighs you down, it takes it takes time out of your life if you have all this excess. So you kind of have to learn to let go of those things and only keep things that you really love or really need. And I'm not Marika, what's her name Marie Kondo attorney, I'm not like her, I don't think that we should have no things are only things that bring us joy, there are definitely things that you need, especially leading this kind of lifestyle. But you can definitely learn to minimize and simplify. And just, you know, we don't need 500 months, we only need a few, you might have company once in a while. But that doesn't mean that you need 500 bucks. So that's some tips on that blog post that's on the corner of your page that you could go, you know, look at later. And hopefully that'll help you learn to minimize a little bit. And another thing that you can do to let go that consumers mindset is to turn off the TV, especially when we're talking about traditional cable and satellite subscriptions. They can be really, there's lots of commercials on them so they can talk us into buying things or thinking that we need things that we really don't need. Kimber says we will have an empty house soon. And so hubby and I have been downsizing lots. Yeah, I mean, if you're going to be have an empty house, then it's easier. But even if you have kids, you should still you know, kind of learn to downsize. We don't need so much stuff. I mean, so many people have, you know, all of these storage units and things like that. And if we don't need that much stuff, we really, really, really, really don't. And like I said, it takes hours and time of your life in order to take care of all this stuff that you really don't need. So turn off that TV, like I said, especially subscription cable and satellite, have a lot of commercials, a lot of streaming services don't, or the commercials that they have are to advertise other, you know, episodes or programs that they have on a streaming service. So if you're gonna watch TV, I recommend that you at least watch some streaming service that doesn't have tons of advertisements for junk that we really don't need because all those advertisements are definitely geared toward making you want to go buy things, and they're things that you probably don't don't need. Like I said, there are lots of things, especially in homesteading that we need. But we don't need 500 bucks. And we might need 500 mason jars, but we don't need a lot of stuff. So you kind of have to choose wisely and be very ruthless about what you choose to keep in your life and what you don't. And, of course, the ever important stay out of the stores, if you go in store, you are definitely more likely to impulse buy something that you absolutely positively don't need, whether this be, you know, some kind of convenience food or an actual, you know, object. And like I said, you're trading hours of your life for all these objects that you have. So learning to let go of the consumers of mindset can be very, very hard. But as you know, homesteaders are people who want to learn to homestead we are we should be producing things and producers, instead of so much consumers. It wasn't really that long ago that more and more people and had a more productive mindset, we were actually, you know, talked into having Victory Gardens and things like that as being patriotic, and, you know, help doing your part. And, you know, being a producer instead of just constantly consuming resources, that a lot of times are even renewable. Um, Tara says, With us being our fifth wheel now, I only brought one coffee cup and one water thermal, and we've downsized a lot over the years. Yes, that's, it's so important to, you know, like I said, learn to let go, we have all these preconceived notions about needing to have all of this excess stuff. And we don't, you know, of course, all these corporations wants to buy the excess stuff, and we get the excess stuff, and then it's not so great. One of my favorite books is Henry and the Great Society, you can actually find that book online for free as a PDF. And I can find it later, maybe, and put it in the comments. But if you haven't read it, I highly, highly recommend that you read it, it talks about a man a story of a man he starts off as a farmer with his family, you know, they they live by oil, light and candlelight. And they're they have a very, very simplistic life, they go to church on Sundays, they wash their clothes once a week, and all these things. And then technology comes in, and the railroad runs through. And then there's a road right by their house. And then you know, they have a telephone that's constantly begging their attention. And then they have electricity, and his wife wants a washing machine. And all these things that were supposed to make their lives convenient and more less time consuming, actually require more of their time. So when you look at it from the way that our ancestors lived, of course, everything was far more difficult. And there are lots and lots of, you know, modern technologies that I'm very, very appreciative of, this is one of them. Of course, you know, I wouldn't be talking to you if we weren't on the internet. But, you know, we have to kind of take a step back and realize that a lot of those things that we are taught, make our lives easier and make things more convenient and less time consuming, actually require more out of our lives. But it requires more out of our lives from the standpoint of working a job 40 to 80 hours a week, and being away from your family in your home, and doing a specialized service that you're trading your hours for money so that you can pay for all the junk that you probably don't mean yes, having the phone on all the time, Tara is definitely definitely very, very aggravating. I always recommend people turn their phones off, or at least put them in another room, let them charge in a different room while you go do something else. We don't need our phones all the time and make yourself hard to get ahold of not only can this help you get things done and be more productive, but in all honesty, it helps you be less of a consumer and gets you away from the consumer mindset because when we're constantly on our phones, we're usually scrolling Facebook, or some other thing and then we end up with a lot of advertisements that are trying to get us to buy the thing. Um, so next up I want to talk a little bit about how you know even if you are in a apartment or your rental and you can't have a big garden or whatever your situation is that doesn't mean that you can't start working toward you know, a self sufficient lifestyle and living your homesteading dream. So how can you do that you can use this season of your life wherever you're at as a learning season. And remember, you know, everything is just a season everything changes. People change all the time. situations change all the time. Everything is constantly changing. So you have to Learn how to use the seasons that you're in to, you know, make your dreams move forward without having to be, you know, on this big cloud of land or have a big garden or, you know, whatever it is that your dream is. So how can we make this a learning season? Well, we can learn how we can, we can learn how to use locally grown produce and learn to can it even if you can't have a garden, you can teach yourself to can. And you can use you know, locally grown produce, you can even use produce that you found at the supermarket. That's one of the first things that I actually learned how to do as a homesteader was learning how to can and we did not have a very big garden at all, because we lived on less than a third of an acre. And it was in town, we couldn't have chickens or anything like that. It was against the municipal ordinances. But I could learn to cans, so I used those you know, and things like that. And I got a canning book, and I got some jars and I taught myself how to can. And I even taught myself how to pressure can so you know, you can use that time that you're in to build up those skills right where you're at. Tara says that she's excited to get her garden going this year. Yes, definitely. I'm excited. I it's supposed to be 70 degrees here, tomorrow. And then we have snow in the forecast. So don't put your gardens too early. I know you're a little bit further south, but still don't put it into early. So you know, we can take the time to learn to can learn to garden. Another thing that I taught myself to do when we lived in town and couldn't you know, really have a homestead in the traditional sense of having a homestead I was still able to teach myself how to crochet. So you know, these are things that you can do, you know, quilting, knitting, sewing, crocheting, all of these things are things that you can learn how to do, right now where you're at, you don't have to be on a piece of land or have you know, resources available to you. You just have to find a, you know, a book or a YouTube channel or an online course or a local you know, course somebody that can teach you how to do these things if you don't know how to do them, or a book that can teach you how to do them and you know, learn these different skills that used to be skills that everybody had. They were just kind of like more like common knowledge. So another thing that you can do is what Terry and I were talking about, you can learn how to garden. Even if you have a no land, none at all you live in an apartment or you can't grow anything in your yard because you're in a rental or you have really, really strict HOA restrictions, you can still learn how to garden, you can take a class online, you can look locally and see if you can learn how to grow your own food. Like a master gardening course or something. Some people at farmer's markets have, you know, they'll they're willing to teach you even like you can find some resources, maybe even at your local greenhouse or your local Tractor Supply on the cork board. I mean, they're people that are definitely more than willing to teach you. And of course, you can always grab a book. And if you don't have land, some options are vertical gardening. Like in things like gutters. You could use containers, just like planters and things like that to grow something on your balcony if you're allowed to or in your yard. If you're in a rental and they don't want you to dig it up in the yard, you can still usually get them to let you grow in containers, even five gallon buckets are usable as containers or grow bags and things like that. There are lots and lots of options for container gardening. And another idea is you can grow with grow lights if you don't have any windows and just you know make a little flat of microgreens or some lettuce in a pot and put up put a light over it or all over it there are so many different grow lights available now compared to what they used to be and if you don't have a lot of money, you can even use shop lights the shop lights are effective as for lights. So you know an in Windows cells of course you can just grow a couple herbs you know, get your hands in the dirt and grow something. And another thing that you can do is learn some basic kitchen skills like cutting up the chicken cooking from scratch. I'm surprised at how many people don't know how to cut off the whole chicken. I think that everybody should know how to cut up a whole chicken and you know learn to stretch that chicken out and What I mean by that is, you know, taking a whole bird and making it into several meals, so you can make it into your first meal. And then you can boil the bones, and take all the trimmings and make it into some kind of soup and those types of things, you know, learn to kind of use that chicken and kind of stretch your food a little bit further. So if you learn some basic kitchen skills, you know, like, I actually know somebody that was telling me about an 18 year old that didn't even know how to use a knife to cut up her own food. So these things are important. They're, you know, just basic life skills. So you know, learn how to do them, you can get a book, learn how to bake bread, so you don't have to buy at the store. If you eat grains. You know, just work in the kitchen and learn how to do those things. Another favorite of mine is probably my most favorite is learn how to butcher you can do this by taking a course online or going to a local course, if you go to your local farmers markets, a lot of times you can find somebody who is more than willing to let you get you know your hands dirty and help them butcher whatever it is they're selling at the farmers market. So you can get that experience and you know, know how to butcher your own meat so that you know how to do it in the future if there's no meat at the grocery store. And another thing that I taught myself how to do when we lived in the suburbs and couldn't really homestead in the traditional sense was, I taught myself how to make soap, I grabbed a book, I watched a video online, and I bought some lie, and some pastured tallow and I made my own soap. It's not really that scary, I thought it was going to be because it's a lie. It was really actually pretty easy. It's just saponified oil and a little bit of lie. And it's something that anybody can do anywhere, you know, you can get those items online, watch the video and learn to make soap. Tara says that she needs to learn how to butcher them, Tara, it's, it's actually really, really easy. You just, you can make your life easier by having a plucker I will tell you that if you're gonna butcher a significant amount of chickens, it's so much easier with a plucker. We haven't. We did two groups of chickens without a plucker. And I actually invested part of our stimulus in the plucker. So that we would have it and we use it last year and it's fantastic. But you really just need you know, a big pot of hot water. And you just, you know dunk them in after you've slaughtered them and get their feathers pulled off. And then you just do a couple little cuts and pull them out. Pull out all the guts. So it's really easy. Kimber says that she makes her own laundry soap. Yes. But you know, beyond making your own laundry soap, you can learn how to make your own, you know, body soap and stuff. I think Bonnie is almost ready. I see her. She's coming.Bonnie Von Dohre:
Let's segue into Bonnie is finally here. I've already done podcast introductions. So alright, now that we are back online. So I have another blog post on there are 150 skills listed on this blog post. And a lot of them are things that absolutely anyone could do. And like I said, you know, you can always find online courses, you can find locals at your farmers market, places like that, where you can find people who are more than willing to let you help them because it's free, free to help them and then they don't want to do all the work themselves. And you get to learn something. So you know, don't be afraid to reach out and find some of those local people that will hopefully let you get your hands dirty. I know I would. Well, and that's one thing is I've like I've met a lot of farmers and growers and breeders who love to share the information they know. I mean, yeah, there's the ones out there that are jerks, and they like they feel like everything they know is privileged information. And the problem is, someday those people are going to die and that information is going to die with them because they were too stubborn and arrogant to share it. Right. But the vast majority are not that way. What ends up holding people back is the beginners the people who are new to this, just assume that the people who have the knowledge are arrogant jerks who don't want to share. And so they they're afraid to even ask and I realized like a lot Those who choose this lifestyle are introverts. So I get that, you know, we talk necessarily feel comfortable talking to strangers. But I also know that like for me, and I call myself a closet introvert because yes, I have extroverted tendencies that will completely wipe me out for the rest of the day. Like I will go home and take a nap after I record this podcast. But I had to train myself to be that way. Like I was very, very shy growing up. And I ended up being befriended by a cheerleader who like, forced me to crack that shell. Not you weren't a cheerleader. I can't believe a cheerleader befriended you. Okay, so she's a weird anomaly. She's a cheerleader, who's also a dairy farmer. Oh, so yeah, like I said, a very strange anomaly. And in fact, unfortunately for her dad, he was gifted with three daughters. I think they may have all become cheerleaders. But they were also they were also. I mean, I think they even did beauty pageants. I don't remember wow, you know, this is stretching into the memory bank. But, like, they were also active in four H and FFA and showed the county fair and weren't afraid to get their hands dirty. And just, I mean, great, great girls to know. So yeah, I was I was befriended by Jocelyn and so she kind of took me under her wing and one year at FFA, National Convention. She like forced me to go around and talk to people. But yeah, so that aside, when I like, I hate small talk with a passion. But I will not shut up. If you get me on a subject that I'm passionate about. It drives my children up the wall. If they know that we're going somewhere where there's going to be chickens, horses, goats, or plants, or pigs, pretty much anything animal or plant related. They will preface the visit before we even get out of the car with mommy. Don't talk. No, we will never leave. I am veryBonnie Von Dohre:
sorry. interrupt you to go and talk to those people?Danielle McCoy:
Yeah, yeah, it but it's hard. It's hard. You said you you think as the outsider that, you know, we're all going to be arrogant and but you know, the truth is a lot of us that have a little bit of knowledge, at least are very introverted as well. So we're not going to reach out to you necessarily, you need to come to us. And we're not right Kurtz, and we will talk about our passions. And I mean, I love talking about homesteading and being able to, you know, share any knowledge that I have. And I know I'm not the only person like that. So, you know, you just kind of have to, you know, get out of your own shell, like get out of my Oh, yeah. Because I will tell you, I mean, he farming space. And the farmer market space is a lot different from what I grew up with. So yes, there are some out there that are more outgoing. And you know, that not like the farmers that I grew up with. I mean, I can think of I can think of one farmer in particular, I don't remember him saying a single word the entire time I was growing up. And his one defining trait was the Amish would send horses to him to be trained to like to pull carts and things like that. And so he would hook them up to the sled, work them out to the middle of a cornfield and then just sit there for hours because the draft horses needed to be trained to stand still patiently. But you I mean, he wouldn't do anything. It's not I mean, this was before cell phones. So it's not like he's sitting on a cell phone he's not reading a book. If anything, he's just sitting there talking to the horses I don't even think he was doing that much. I think he was literally just sitting there for hours just watching nature go by. And so I mean, yeah, the people that have the experience and have the knowledge they're not exactly your outgoing outspoken talking to folks either. Right, right. But you know, you can find somebody to help you you know, learn skills. Like I said, that blog post that's in on the screen, there is a great place to start there are 150 skills listed by I took forever writing that blog post so Also, something else I should say is don't feel like you're not qualified to call yourself a homesteader until you've mastered all 150 of those skills. Oh, no, no, no, I have to master even TLS this is you look at everything and look at what sounds interesting to you exactly like Take a couple of things to learn, Right. Don't need God don't try to learn all the things I was just trying to give you lots and lots of options, seeing find something that you know you're really, really interested in that really lights you up in, you know, go go learn that. So, up next is how to be a good steward. This is a big one for me, because this is probably one of my biggest motivators is and really kind of what got me into homesteading was I really feel like it is, you know, part of our commission as humans to care for God's creation and to be good stewards of the earth. And I realize there's a lot of people on this planet that think that that means different things. I still think that means eating the animals. I still think that means hunting, I sit but like, you know, if you're if you don't eat meat, because you don't agree with how animals are being raised commercially, then raise them yourself and do it differently. Do it the way you want it done, or buy from someone who is doing it the way you want. Right, right. Like we're not able to raise a lot of our animals, you know, ourselves because we're limited with only an acre, but what we can raise ourselves, we absolutely do. And we try to do it, you know, the way that we feel is a good way to do it. And then for everything else I've sourced, you know, people who are raising their animals, the way that I would raise them if they were my animals. So you know, there's there are always options. And I definitely feel like Bonnie, we are definitely called to you know, be good stewards, and take care of the earth. Because not only you know, even if you're not religious, not only is it you know, you're called to but also, you know, we're leaving this planet to our children, and our children's children, and etc, etc. And if we aren't good stewards, then we're not teaching them to be good stewards. And then pretty soon, there's no planet, right? Or not one that we can live on. Yeah. And I mean, and we see it so often with commercial growing practices, and how these large scale monoculture farms have just to strip the topsoil of all the nutrients. And it didn't I mean, in the grand scheme of things, it didn't take that many years for that to happen. And so, you know, I think a big thing like if you're getting into gardening is learning how to compost and how to rebuild that soil. Because the soil is a living organism. And we we need to treat it as such, it needs to be fed, it needs to be cared for just as much as the plants that were growing on the soil, if not more so. Right. And so some things that you can do, I've got a whole list down here. You can line dry your clothes, so you're not using that electricity or that fuel in order to dry your clothes. Body has a post and I went and grabbed it. I rememberedBonnie Von Dohre:
You thought about me I feel so special.Danielle McCoy:
She has a whole post on how you can install a clothesline with pulleys, right? Isn't that what Yes, yeah, Because I'm lazy. And my so my dryers right by my back door. And so all I have to do is load the clothes, the wet clothes into my washer and dryer. Anyway, load the wet clothes in the laundry basket, walk out the back door, the head of the pool, like the first pulley is right there outside my back door. So I just stand on the back steps and hang up and then string them across the backyard. So that you know and it dries the clothes. And then when it's time to take them off, I stand at that same step and I pull them off and I stick them in a laundry basket and I'll throw them in the dryer for like five minutes just to kind of like fluff them and get because we live in an oak forest. So you get a lot of like pollen and stuff that can fall on the clothes. So the dryer will also help knock a lot of that off. But yeah, and I find it I find it relaxing. Maybe it's just the fact that it's an excuse for me to like go outside and leave my kids inside and lock the door. But but it is kind of therapeutic for me to like stand there and how you laundry. Yeah, I actually I like it too. I like you know it gets you outside in the sunshine or getting some vitamin D we have just like an umbrella clothesline. So to say no, like pops up. It's not as easy to do this time if you're here because weather but you know even if you have some ridiculous rule from your HOA where you're not supposed to have a clothesline, and yes, that is a ridiculous rule. You can still drive inside I mean, you know, put something up over your because you know, we're all using automatic washing machines or most of us are it's gonna spin a lot of that water out anyways. So it's not like you know, you're gonna have sopping wet clothes when you pull them out of your washer so you can take them and put them in your know Hey, lined up above your washer and dryer or hanging them in your bathroom or over, you know, heater vents or get a drying rack. I mean, there's lots of different options, you can definitely still do it. If you have a basement then you're super lucky and you could still you know, dry your clothes. Yeah, that's what I was gonna say is my mom. My parents have a base a full basement. And so in the wintertime she's got a wire that hangs like the length of the basement. And then she also has like a rack for hanging clothes. So a lot of the stuff that just gets hung up anyway on hangers is going to go on that rack. But then the other stuff that she just wants to hang dry and she can hang on that wire in the basement And hang them in the bathtub. Yep. I can actually see all the comments today. This is exciting. It's it's, there's always something right anyway. Um, yes, you can do the bathtub. I don't know if it's just my bathroom. I mean, granted, my bathrooms are very small, but we get a lot of humidity in the bathroom. And so it doesn't like the clothes don't dry roll well in there. But try fan maybe. So they're got a little bit of airflow. Yeah, I mean, I mean, the fans gonna take up less electricity than the the dryers so well, right. And there are like if you can't hang outside. There are a lot of options now for like wires or cords that attach on the bathroom wall that you can stretch across. I've seen them in hotel rooms that I've stayed in, is they have like a clothesline that's already attached to the wall. It's been a while but yeah, Kimber says they live in Texas. So your excuses, not very good. Shouldn't say that I did. Well, you got to realize you know what is about to have like four or five foot long so you've got you know several feet of space and you could probably even hang more than one line depending on how you're doing it. So definitely could be an option for just about anyone anywhere.Bonnie Von Dohre:
This episode was brought to you by Kitchen Botanicals, your sustainable gardening headquarters. Stop by kitchenbotanicals.com and get a look at our 2022 seed varieties as well as supplies and pest control products to help you with your organic garden 2022 is a great time to take care of yourself with our pampered gardener subscription box. Every month you'll receive all natural self care products untreated heirloom seeds, high quality garden tools, organic garden amendments, cute impractical supplies and fun products that we know you'll love. This is your opportunity to take care of yourself in the garden I started the pampered gardener subscription box, because I had gone through a time of not taking care of myself and dealing with the stress that it put onto my body I was ill I was tapped out and I felt like I couldn't possibly pour any more out of my empty cup. So I created the pamper gardener subscription box for women like me who wanted to get back to what they enjoy but also wanted to love themselves. So we've put together this collection of gardening and self care products that are geared towards women who love to garden will get things such as gloves, lotion, bags, hats, sunscreen, mosquito repellent things that you can actually use but also things that you'll enjoy and don't worry there will still be plenty of gardening tools seeds, we've created a subscription box like no other buy gardeners for gardeners order your own box today.Danielle McCoy:
And next, stop using plastic, especially when you use plastics. I love plastic I try to avoid plastic whenever and wherever I can. It's you know it's a part of our lives. But that doesn't mean it has to be a part of every part of our lives. Any Kimbrel act I would say any plastic that you can cut out is better than nothing like you know just trying to limit where you can you know I'm really trying to get away from like you know, saran wrap and the sandwich baggies and things like that. Because like you said like the single use plastic. We have gone completely to either stainless steel or glass straws. And like I'm straws out here anymore. Oh well. I mean we can I can still find them but and even for birthday parties if I want to get straws for birthday parties. I get the paper straws. But have you seen those those mason jar lids? Like a screw on the top? Okay, yeah, so we're so strong. Right? Exactly. Are the stainless steel straws fit in those great most of our drinking glasses, because I'm cheap. Our mason jars Well, I talked earlier See, so you can use all those 500 jars that you need, because you don't need 500 cups or coffee mugs. And you can use those 500 jars when they don't have food 500 coffee mugs. But actually, coffee mugs are also really good for portion control on ice cream. My kids have like we used to have a mix of mason jars and like regular glasses. And my kids have broken all of the regular glasses. But the mason jars are like a thicker glass and they hold up a lot better to my children's abuse. So that's a big thing. But also Yeah, I started getting the the the lids that screw on because I still have little ones. And if I just give them an open an open glass, it's going to get spilled or splashed or something. And so I can put the lid on, stick that straw in there. And we're good to go. All right, I actually have a blog post I put up on the screen. It is 30 ways you can eliminate plastic from your lives. It has lots of suggestions for single use plastics. I did suggest in there you know you can ditch your Tupperware I don't think you should ditch your Tupperware if you're still using it. But you can slowly phase it out and go to glass storage containers. Not only is it better for the environment, but it's also better for your health because a lot of those plastic storage containers have BPA and other things in them that leach into your food. And none of us really want that. I will also say with the glass because you know how the the plastic containers tend to get like foggy over time. My glass containers have stayed nice and clear. And we are using more of the leftovers because we can actually see what's in the container and see that it's something we want to eat. Because you know, hate to say it. We've had a few science experiments in the refrigerator, where if I don't know what's in the Tupperware container, I'm afraid to lift the lid. So the glass containers have eliminated a lot of that for me. What's Cheryl Cheryl says mason jars for drinking glasses leftover food storage as containers for homemade yogurt love canning jars. Yeah, I even have some of the half gallon jars that I use. When I'm milking goats I used to store my milk in. And then dry storage in my in my cabinets because with Florida we get a lot of weevils and pantry moths. And so the way that I managed to eliminate those one, any dry goods that come from the store, spend at least three days in the refrigerator. Although I have some things that just live in the freezer permit like like dried beans and flour and stuff like that. But then I can transfer them to either a hard plastic container or a mason jar in the pantry. And the if I do have like an infestation of pantry mods or weevils, they're not able to spread to those containers because they're sealed in the kickin into All Right, and if you're going to use plastic, weed a spot several plastic food grade things to store, you know, dried goods in I actually got them so I could put lard in them. Because I just rendered a bunch of lard I need somewhere to put it. But you know, it makes sure it's good heavy duty plastic, not you know this, none of that single you stuff. I mean, it's you're gonna save money in the long run, even though you have to invest in you know, like these reusable sandwich bags or beeswax wrap instead of plastic wrap. I mean, there are lots and lots of options that are much more sustainable and better for the environment and for your health because you don't have a lot of BPA and stuff in them. Right. And I say that because like food grade buckets are really good for storage. It's it's a better quality plastic. And if you're talking about like, storing, you know, five gallons of rice, you're not going to find or if you find a glass container that large it's going to be really expensive. There are there are uses but like I said it, you know, even if you can't totally eliminate plastic focus on the things you can eliminate, right? Something better than nothing, Right. And you can always, you know, excuse me phase that stuff out. Like I said, the stuff that you you know, your Tupperware containers and stuff like that as they become cloudy or unusable or you throw them out because you left a science experiment in the refrigerator for too long, or whatever it is, you know, instead of going and buying more Tupperware, you know, replace it with a nice good quality glass container instead, guess and learn to reuse items. We talked a lot about different ways that you can use mason jars because they're definitely multipurpose they're not just used for canning, canning and crafts. So you know take old T shirts and cut them into rags. You know, just learn how you can, you know, kind of reuse and repurpose items that you have laying around, that you didn't declutter, like I suggested that you do at the beginning. You still have things left that you haven't thrown away yet. Yes, we all have things and you're going to keep using things and you're going to keep creating things right are empty containers. So I wanted to mention, Bonnie mentioned being one of the first things she talked about was learning to compost. Starting a compost pile is possible even in your kitchen there are lots and lots of countertop composters and as long as you keep that charcoal change out, first off, composted never really smell but as long as you keep that charcoal change out, you're not going to have some like weird you know, banana peel rotting odor in your kitchen. Although I will say my my fungus gnats found a way to get through that charcoal filter. Yeah. And they were Yeah, they were actually like breeding in the charcoal filter. That was lots of fun. So I still I know, I'm just killing the sunshine, aren't I? There Okay, so there are there are sealed options, they're a lot more expensive. But what I will usually do is I use my compost bucket to collect things for a day or two and then it goes out to my tumbler outside and you can keep the tumbler like right by your back door or you know on your porch or something like that. And it's still I have not had an issue with with the smell from my tumbler as long as you have a good balance of the green and brown. Excuse me. But you know, even if you don't have to have like a big backyard, you don't need to have a giant compost pile it can be something small and contained. I keep mine contained just for the fact that I have dogs that will go and dig into my compost pile and then come inside smelling like sunshine and roses. My dogs do that so and they okay side sidebar here. We had wood chips delivered. And apparently, some animal just happened to get mixed in with the woodchips and the wood chips have broken down and settled enough to where that animal has come to the surface. And all of my dogs have taken turns rolling in that animal. And no, we have not actually put forth the effort to go out and dig it out of the pile and dispose of it because that would be logical. So all of all of my dogs have gotten baths this last week. I don't have a post specific to composting, I don't know if you do. I do actually it's called composting 101 Minus Burma composting, so using worms to help break down that compost a little bit quicker Bonnie's gonna go find her posts on composting but I do have this post on Burma composting, you can get red worms. Online, some people raise them locally. Some people use different kinds of worms and it's effective, but it's a way to compost. Some people even have Burma compost bins underneath their kitchen sink so you can compost from you know, an apartment or a rental or whatever it's still possible. You can buy a small tumbler and put it on your balcony or your porch or you know, whatever you need to do. There are definitely ways to build up compost regardless of where you live. It's a really creative things with the vermicomposting in terms of different types of containers, but also people selling their worms selling their worm castings. And then I've also seen people like and this is this is something going back to like the 90s when I was actively raising rabbits, it was a big thing for people to use their the rabbit poop to raise their worms in so they actually had like worm bins under the rabbit cages. Oh wow, that's actually good. Yeah. Yeah. And so the worms were like breaking everything down because you know the rabbits are also dropping shavings and hay and feed and all that stuff. I kind of accidentally ended up raising black soldier fly larva underneath my rabbit cages. But yeah, it's they they end up you know, they raised them that way and then they turn around sell the worms is fishing bait. Okay, so it's not so otter.com/how to compost. And for you for those of you actually listening to the podcast and not watching this live stream We will put these links in the show notes. Right. And anyway, I've mentioned I haven't actually added to the feed on Facebook, but I will. So growing a garden is another way you can, you know, not only steward the Earth, but also learn to live a little more sustainably. Like I mentioned earlier, you can throw containers, you can grow on a windowsill, you can use grow lamps. I mean, there are tons and tons of different grow lamps available. Even if you live in a basement apartment, you could still actually technically grow some food there. You can grow vertically with gutters and things like that. You can I mean, there's so many different options, just about anybody can grow at least some thing. Have you seen the arrow gardens? Those little countertop gardens? I really, I'm thinking about getting one or two just to have like lettuce and herbs growing in the garden? I'm sorry, growing in the kitchen. Yeah. And that's something I don't I don't know how, you know, cost effective. They are how they work. But I have seen them. And that's something that like literally anybody could probably put, you know, on a countertop, so I would have it as a fun toy. That just happens to make food for me. But who cares if it's cost effective? No. I mean, for me, it's it is a convenience thing, because I will say that if I have to walk out to my garden, to pick lettuce, versus just cutting it in my kitchen. I'm probably much more likely to actually eat the lettuce in my kitchen. Well, yeah, a lot. But less doesn't say good long. So we have to, well, no, that's why you keep it growing, right? Like, right, you can't like you can't really harvest it and save it because it's gonna be wilted and stuff a couple of days. You got to keep the roots attached. And purchase secondhand. A lot of people think that purchasing things secondhand means that you know you're buying, you know, bad quality, or you just don't have any money or, you know, there's so much stigma around secondhand. But actually a lot of like, especially clothes and stuff are actually more quality made. We bought all of our almost all of our cookware is cast iron, and it was all bought secondhand, we have very, very little invested in it. And it's lasted for over 100 years, and it's very, very likely it will last at least 100 more. So, you know, there's nothing wrong with second hand, you're not using those resources, again, you're making use of the resources that have already been used up. So purchasing second hand is definitely a way that you can be a better steward and live a little more sustainably. Yes. Yeah, cuz honestly, if it's survived the first home, probably better quality than the stuff you're getting at a lot of source. Right. And eat seasonally. We've definitely strayed away from this with grocery stores and global food supplies. A lot of people don't realize that even meat actually hasn't season. You know, we're not having cows, cows don't technically calves, you know, every month, we don't usually set things up like that. We don't have chicken available, you know, year round, you can technically but at the same time, you know, it's not, it's more of a seasonal thing. And especially when it comes to vegetables and things like that when you're buying peppers and tomatoes in Indiana in the dead of winter, that stuff probably traveled farther than you travel on vacation for a year. So when you learn to eat seasonally, and preserve some of those foods, so you can eat some of those things out of season. It's definitely a more sustainable way to live. And like I mentioned, it's traveling fewer miles. So you're a better steward of the land. Right? Yeah, it's gonna have a lot less of a carbon footprint. But also, like, you have to think about the fact that these these vegetables and fruits are being harvested under ripe so that they can travel the 1000s of miles they need to travel to get to to your grocery store, right? So you're going to, you know, the more that you can buy locally, the better it's going to taste, like you said, the less of an impact it's going to have. Also, I know everyone loves to grow things from the grocery store, like, you know, save their seeds and rebreather, lettuce and all that happy stuff that I have not had much luck with. But if you're actually wanting to try to grow those seeds, you're going to have much better luck with something that was produced locally. One, it's already bred for your local environment. So you have a lot of things that were grown like in southern Florida, or I'm sorry, well, yes, there's most of us are in southern Florida, but Southern California, here in Florida, we get a lot of vegetable. We get a lot of fruits that are coming from further north that require a certain number of chill hours to produce. So Though I cannot go and buy a Washington apple from the grocery store and expect to be able to get those seeds to produce apples in Florida, it's just not going to happen. Same thing with strawberries, same thing with a lot of blueberries like, and this is also why I tell people, you know, if you live, if you live in Florida, don't go and buy the fruit trees from the big box stores unless the tag specifically says it's been produced for Florida, because otherwise we don't have enough chill hours. And even within Florida, we have a lot of variations to how many chill hours you get. Right? So. So yeah, so the stuff that you're getting from a local farmer, you know, that variety grows in your local environment. And then also, because it's being picked, right, those seeds have had more time to develop and ripen. And so they're going to be more likely to actually germinate for you if you're trying to grow them. Well, and you get so much more, you know, flavor and different varieties of things like that, you're not going to buy a tomato that tastes like cardboard, if you're buying it locally, you know, from a local producer versus if you buy at the grocery store in the middle of December in Indiana, it's cardboard because those tomatoes have to be a certain type so that they can withstand shipping and ripen off the vine at a certain amount of time. And all these different things while still keeping them fresh long enough for you to grab them off the grocery store shelves. So you know, I will say the stuff has been grown commercially, especially the tomatoes that are being grown commercially. They have not been bred for flavor. They've been bred to have a uniform round shape, a nice color, you know, basically to look pretty on a grocery store shelf, they've not been bred to actually taste good. And I'm noticing this a lot with apples. We're getting like we just had we just bought a bag of Fuji apples, that I'm going to end up feeding most of the bag to the horses, because they have no flavor. They're mealy. They're just they're not very good. Yeah. And so I've, I mean, the apples that I've gotten from farmers markets, even if they weren't. Because I mean, we don't grow a lot of apples in Florida. So even if they weren't from Florida, there's they've still been such a better quality than the stuff I've gotten from the grocery store. Right. We don't have that problem so much here because we live in a place where those envelopes, right. And most of our apples are fairly local. We get a lot from like Michigan and stuff like that, but and we have an orchard not that far from us. So we can go, you know, get a bunch of apples in the fall and keep them do things with them clean them up and all that stuff. Yeah. And that's what I do in Ohio is that we had orchards that grow a multiple varieties. And so I could go I mean, you could go to the orchard to get a taste test, decide which variety you liked. You can get a cider made just from that variety. There are things I miss about Ohio. Just scaffold not the ice and the mud. Yeah. Well, I guess the food, I guess that's So you can find those foods at your local farmers markets. CSAs farm stands, community gardens, that type of thing. So that you can, you know, source your food locally and eat things a little more seasonally than you know, we're used to because, like, like I mentioned, we have the grocery store available. And so we think that you know, since there's a tomato on the shelf, that must mean that it's in season. Right, right. I mean, but we all know that tomatoes do not grow in the middle of December. You know, it was funny though. I've got peppers from the store. It was a while ago.Bonnie Von Dohre:
You told me about this, Canada? Yeah, from a hothouse in Canada.Danielle McCoy:
And it was it was winter when I bought them. I'm like, wow, Canada, ha. I Kimber said she makes apple butter when they have a bunch. Yeah, apple butter, applesauce, apple pie filling. I mean, there's tons and tons of ways that you can clean up apples so that you can keep them and eat them. Apples are like the potatoes of the fruit industry. Way to Samwise Gamgee meme, that's just all the different ways you can use apple. Oh, so I think we're about ready to wrap up. So a lot of people wonder where to start, right. I've had lots and lots of people say that they don't know where to start. I run a very large Facebook group. One of my questions is what is your biggest struggle? And this is by far by far the most popular answer. They just don't know where to start. So where do you start? Well, you can start you know, regardless of where you are, there's no such thing as you know, it's impossible to do because of XYZ. I'm definitely living proof that You can homestead anywhere, you know, we started on a third of an acre, I had no clue what we were doing. And that third of an acre was mostly covered by driveway, house. And two garages and shade trees, I had a very, very probably smaller than my king size bed area to grow anything in in that yard. But I learned how to can and made soap and learn how to bake bread and cook from scratch. And you know, all those basic kitchen skills. And I just used it as a learning experience and a season in my life where I could learn how to do things. And then I was all excited because we got to move to the country again, which is where we had lived our entire marriage. And I was very, very disappointed because we have one single acre. It's, it's a lot,a two, you know, somebody that only had a very small postage stamp lot, but at the same time, it's not much, especially when we used to live on three acres. And we're surrounded by 16 acres and what's on the other side. So I look at my little what I think is a postage stamp. And it's very disappointing. But we're here to get into the comparison trap, and I try anything you can to teach people not to do Exactly like you see all these homesteaders online that have you know, 5060 7080 90 100 acres or whatever. And, you know, that's great. I wish I wish that, you know, we could all afford that and do that. But we can't. And I think Bonnie, you have five, right? Yeah, we have five it's mostly was and it's mostly pasture but are well, okay, pastured woods are not synonymous. It's mostly turnout space. Sounds a little bit better. So, you know, you can make do a lot of our acre isn't usable, our septic tank takes up and our leach field takes up a significant part right in the middle of our backyard instead of off to the side, like every other property we've ever lived on in the country. I don't know why it's there. I guess that's where it perked. But then further on, we have an area that is full of water part of the year. I mean, it's it's not standing water, but it's all sopping muddy, you can't really do a whole lot with it. And then the front yard is pretty shaded because it's on the north side of the property. And we have trees across the road. So, you know, we don't have a lot to work with. But we still do quite a bit on our anybody acre. And like I said, when we started all of this, it was almost 12 years ago, we've lived here for six years, we still have a very, very, very long ways to go. But I've tried and tried to help people, you know, get out of that comparison trap, and learn how to homestead right where they are. And the last few years have definitely taught us that we can not wait on Sunday. Because, you know, growth is fair grocery store shelves is something that I never honestly thought that I would see in my lifetime. And every time I stepped foot in a grocery store, there are bear shelves, and it seems to get worse instead of better.Bonnie Von Dohre:
So I mentioned the rising food costs.Danielle McCoy:
Yes. Oh, my Yeah, I used to say you know that you couldn't homestead? If you thought that you were going to save money. But I don't really think that's true anymore. I mean, yeah, grain is going up. But it's not going up as fast as the food costs, I guess. Right. And there are ways youknow that you can feed quite a few animals without having to rely on Grant. Believe it or not. I mean, most of us were so it's been ingrained in us that we have to you know, like raise chickens and rabbits and things like that with all this pelletized feed. But you know, our grandmas are great, great grandma's or whatever. They didn't raise chickens like that. So you know, it is possible to do it without all that stuff. And it's still cheaper, even if you do choose to be green to raise your own now. Oddly, that seems so odd to say.Bonnie Von Dohre:
Unless you have to buy would build a coop and you're out of luck.Danielle McCoy:
Well, but yeah, but you could you know, like there are so many pallets of stuff available. Exactly. You can repurpose, Although I don't pallets have become like a whole industry in Florida. You cannot find pallets anymore, because so many people Yeah, like because you'll if you go to these industrial complexes because I used to actually do property management in a warehouse Park. And this is news. You didn't know this. Okay. This was when I had a business degree and I was treated like a glorified Secretary anyway. So you would have these trucks and I mean, we're just talking like little Ford Rangers come through and collect the pallets from behind all the warehouses every day, and they're leaving the park and the pallets are stacked higher than the cab of the truck. And you're like you're going How is this even legal And that's all these guys do day after day is just drive around and collect pallets. And then they turn around and they either resell them, or I mean, more than likely they're reselling them because now that it's become such a big thing with like crafters and people that are like making furniture and whatnot, right? They're selling them like 234 dollars apiece. And they got them for free. See, I ended up having a truck driver for husband because he knew. And he just has to drive a truck, which costs like $4.30 a gallon now. But yeah, like I did one day, I found a plumbing supply place that was giving away pallets, but they wanted you to take like a lot of pallets. And so I took our landscape trailer over there and it was an hour each way to just drive over there. Because everything in Florida is spread out. And I get over there I load up the trailer. And I still couldn't do a whole lot with all the pallets, even though I ended up with a lot of pallets because none of them matched. So you see all of these nice crafts are like projects, where they're building a fence out of pallets, and it all looks nice and uniform and everything Yeah, no. We are buying those pallets brand new from the exact set like the same producer, every time We actually built our chicken coop almost completely out of repurpose wood that we got for free, almost the entire thing is It's big. It's a huge 10 by 12 Shed, it's not actually even a chicken coop. So you know, you can find places that have stuff available and not have to pay all that money for lumber. But so to be creative. Yeah. So to get out of my shell, trying to Bonnie's trying to stop me from getting out of my shell, I will stop I will stop interrupting you. Since I you know, have lots and lots of experience and have developed strategies and things like that over the last, what really 12 years, but we'll go with six years since we bid on this property, I'm trying to get out of my shell and start teaching you guys on in a little bit of a different format. So I am opening up a membership where you can learn zero overwhelmed homesteading, tips, tricks and strategies. Like I said, I've been doing this for a while, it's really really difficult for me as an introvert to get out of my shell and actually do this. So I'm opening I won't be taking I'll be taking coffee donations for all of the times that Danielle has texted me to tell me that she's out of her mind. I have three kids I run a business, my husband is never home and I run a homestead so I am out of my mind. But you're the perfect person to teach these ladies because a lot of them are feeling like they don't have the support system to do it themselves because they have three kids and their husbands work all the time. Right. So I'm here to you know, to route you on and be your partner in crime and help you you know, make your homestead a success. And hopefully, you know not so overwhelming I say zero overwhelmed but I guess I really mean most days zero overwhelmed because you know we all have those days and times in our lives when you know it doesn't matter what you do or don't do, you are still incredibly incredibly overwhelmed. So I am opening a monthly membership we will have at least one topic a month some months this month we will actually have two topics so strategies to get started and get rid of naysayers and then of course the ever important starting seeds on yourself and everything from actually getting the seed to planting the seed direct sowing, hardening off your vegetables and all of that fun stuff. I will have monthly live q&a and training so that you know we can get together there's chat available and you don't have to have social media to use it. And I'm really really excited so I would love to help you grow your homestead and you know follow your homesteading dreams instead of you know sitting here waiting on Sunday, so you can go to learn.rusticelk.com to learn more, it is called homesteading simplified. We will officially start on March 14, and I'd love to have you in there.Bonnie Von Dohre:
And if you're listening to the podcast, I will put the link in the show notes.Danielle McCoy:
And I will add the link to all the similar things.Bonnie Von Dohre:
Trevor is still watching. And he's still working.Danielle McCoy:
I think he means is working. He must just be listening. That's possible. Right hold a hands free device because oh yes, he's driving. Yeah. You told him to listen in so therefore he thinks do me good. Listen. And I did not tell him he had to listen. And that'sBonnie Von Dohre:
That's usually how my husband would interpret to. She suggested it, so therefore I better listen or else. Okay, so I think that's it for today. Sounds good. Well, thank you, everyone for tuning in. I'll do the podcast outro now. And for those of you who did do a challenge with Danielle, I certainly hope that you enjoyed it. And I'm sure that you learned lots of useful information. So I think that this membership is definitely going to be exciting because you'll get some one on one interaction, and just being able to really get your your questions address during the q&a session. So I think that'd be great. All right. Well, if you guys have not already, please make sure that you subscribe to the ground and simplicity podcast, where we publish episodes every Tuesday. And you can hear us banter back and forth and talk nonsense. tell our stories. Alright. Until next time, we'll catch you later. Thank you for listening to this episode of the Grounded in Simplicity podcast. If we were able to help you in any way, please share this episode with a friend. And also leave us a review on Apple podcasts. You can also join us over on Patreon at grounded simplicity, and help to support this podcast as well as become a patron and get a behind the scenes look at the creation of our podcast and even have some input on future episodes.